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Poster: grendelschoice Date: Mar 27, 2013 6:23pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Eyes of the World Atlanta 06/20/74

Totally understand the subjectivity of all this, so I'll give you my take...btw, you picked 5 really excellent '77s and at least 3 of them I would also put in the top 5 for that year (10/29, 5/18 and 9/3), but my "problem"--such as it is--with '73-'74 versions, and believe me when I say they are FABULOUS versions in their own right & EYES being one of of top 3 fave dead tunes anyway I like almost any rendition outside of the throwaway mid 80's versions when they were going thru the motions--has more to do with what I call the over-dependence on the "stronger than dirt" portions of those versions....

meaning while the '73 and 4s have lovely riffs within the main body of the song, they don't really extend out as far as the later 77 versions do in those sections, and the jamming in those 73 and 4 versions is mostly found in the outro sections of the stronger than dirt theme...which is fine except they sound very uniform to me and especially in the earliest versions the transition into the "dirt" sections was often rather clunky.....they became more seamless later (as w/ 6/20/74 and many others), but that theme still is not as interesting to me as the more exploratory and improvisational jamming found in '77 when Jerry would always seem to find something different to play in the intro to and especially in the bridges between verses....

there was so much exciting variation there and flat out intense jamming that those '77 versions I just find head and shoulders above the rest...

some brief examples: 11/4/77....the intense speed of this version, yet it loses none of the nuance and phrasing...it's power AND precision

5/15/77...more jazz improv and an exceptional outro jam unlike any version i've heard before...

5/22/77...fluid and sublime, and 10/1/77 is also beautifully played, very underrated IMO...

basically when I think of the consistency of how they mastered this song yet were able to take improv chances and make each one unique from the others, it's just my feeling that 1977 is the year this song gave us its most memorable versions...with of course '73 and '74 also deserving of "best ever" conversations (10/29/73, 6/20/74, 8/6/74 and many many others), so don't get me wrong--I wouldn't kick any 73 or 4 version out of bed, but for me 1977 is tops.

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Poster: jerlouvis Date: Mar 27, 2013 7:06pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Eyes of the World Atlanta 06/20/74

Well I have to say that was a fantastic response with some really cool points which I have had never considered and by the way you stated them I can understand your preference.I find the pace and Mickey's presence off putting in the post hiatus versions,plus I think Jerry's improvising skills were in sharp decline after 74'.Truth be told I am not a fan of the Stronger Than Dirt jam myself,it felt forced and disruptive,some improvised music in that spot would have been a better fit.I'm going to listen to some of the versions you mentioned with a different frame of reference.Thanks.

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Poster: Quincy Date: Mar 28, 2013 4:23am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Eyes of the World Atlanta 06/20/74

Try also the improvising skills on 11/5/77

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